Chicago gangster Ted Newberry says: "He must have done something. They don't kill you for nothing." Ted was rubbed out on January 7, 1933

Arrest of Francis 'Two Gun' Crowley

Meet Kiki

Friday, January 28, 2011

Meet John Doe

Four score and one year ago this very day three fellers sat in a sedan. Passing pedestrians paid them no mind until they heard three shots. All eyes turned to the car as two men jumped out and high tailed it away. Left inside was forty-year old Nathan Gordon with two bullets in his person.

Nate was a life long criminal with a record spanning back to 1905 when during his midnight rambler phase he was arrested for grand larceny and sent to Elmira. Periodic arrest and prison terms followed over the following quarter century.

Cops arrived on the scene and found that Gordon was still alive. He was rushed to the hospital where he gave the name John Doe. He said no more and passed out of this life. Since he refused to talk the police were forced to turn to his finger prints, who had absolutely no trouble divulging his true identity.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My way or the hallway

A little more than twenty-four hours after Jocko Doyle was rubbed out whilst dining some kids found Anthony Sancione in the hallway of an east Harlem tenement on this date in 1932. Two bullets had shattered his skull but he was still alive. The kiddies went for a cop who in turn called an ambulance for the young hood but it was to no avail Ant gave up the ghost enroute to the hospital. His record showed that the had been arrested numerous times but was never convicted.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Doyle's last meal

John "Jocko" Doyle was a career criminal with fourteen arrest and three convictions under his belt. Though the latter were for burglary and assault with intent to kill, it was his entrance into the drug trade that police believed was the reason for Jocko being rubbed out on this date back in 1932.

At the time of his demise Jocko was out on bail for a hold up in Philadelphia. He had a history in the City of Brotherly love as a beer runner and gunman. Of late though he apparently was pushing some brown sugar in Manhattan which ruffled some feathers. So much so that whilst he was chowing down at some eatery a couple of mugs came in and gave him seven bullets for dessert.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A voice says, "Hi, hello, how are you?" Well I guess I'm doing fi--

On this night back in 1920, ex-boxer Willie Lewis was wounded in his cabaret in what is the earliest phone booth set up the DGIS staff has yet uncovered.

Credited as the man who introduced American boxing to France prior to WWI Willie climbed into the ring for the first time in 1900 at the age of sixteen. During the war he promoted boxing matches in Paris for U.S. troops on leave.

Since the war he and some others opened the Chateau Thierry Cafe. Word had it that somebody was mad at Willie over a falling out over either a diamond ring or a girl or both. Either way on the evening in question things were slow at the club and Willie was joking around with the musicians and dancing girls when the phone in a rear booth rang. It was a call for Willie.

Just as he entered the booth two men entered the cafe. One headed straight for the phone booth while the other strode to the center of the dance floor and looked the joint over. The bartender didn't like the looks of the fellow on the dance floor so left his post to confront him. Before he made it a few steps however shots were heard.

Willie dropped with three pills in his back as the guy on the dance floor ran to the door, pulled out a pistol and covered the room until his associate made it out. Then he followed.

Mourn not for Willie folks, he made a full recovery and continued in the boxing game for years to come.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Barrel of wine fruit of the vine

Ninety years ago today a couple of cops were walking the beat when they heard four gunshots. Entering the building from where the shots were heard they found Dominick Ponto leaning against the wall. Not thinking that Ponto was seriously wounded they took him to the police station for questioning instead of the hospital.

The wounded man told the police that he and another guy, whom he refused to name, got into an argument over ten barrels of wine. Ponto said they were his and the other guy claimed owner ship. Ponto went on to say that the man had threatened to shoot him so he got a gun. When the two came together Ponto drew first and fired (the first three shots the police heard) his adversary then drew his gat and fired back.

With that Ponto collapsed. The police then figured it might be a good idea to get him to the hospital. Unlike the Glimmer Twins, time was not on Ponto's side. He yielded ownership of the wine for good two hours later.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

train tracks

Frances Bruce was a young heroin addict who ditched her husband, an orangeade salesman in Atlantic City, for a life on the dark side. In the months since she absconded from her marital bonds she trafficked in both narcotics and liquor, bringing both in from Boston.

Eighty-nine years ago today she was heading for New York City aboard the Montreal Express. Sharing a berth with her was 21-year old "actress" Dorothy Wardell. Though Fran claimed that she and Dorothy knew each other only slightly this probably was a lie. Like Fran, Dorothy was a a heroin addict as well as a smuggler of drugs and hooch. Both were returning from Montreal where they stayed at the Hotel Windsor.

Dorothy was in fact part of a drug/alky ring that used Burlesque theater as a front for their operations. She was indeed part of the act but when the show finished its run in Canada and returned to the Big Apple the trunks containing wardrobe, props etc. also contained H and booze.

How do we know this? Well, as mentioned Fran and Dottie were users and as the Montreal Express was chugging towards NYC, somewhere along the line, the latter told the former, "At last I found some real dope." Both women indulged.

The following morning as the train pulled into the town of Harmon, NY a Pullman porter knocked on the women's door to wake them up. They didn't wake up. Dorothy was dead of an overdose and Fran needed medical care. The decision was made to keep them on the train and when it arrived at Grand Central Station Dorothy went to the morgue and Francis to Bellevue where she gave her story and said that the heroin that she and the late actress used must have been "undiluted".

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Drive safely or else

Today we'll hear from the right side of the law. BTW, if it isn't already, seeing Junior Brown live should be on your bucket list.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Decisions, decisions.

We're at a bit of an impasse here at the DGIS. After numerous staff meetings we're not sure how we want to proceed with this blog. Some feel we need to change direction and freshen things up with a new...well, direction . Others feel that we should stay the course, brand loyalty and all that.

Something that we all agreed upon is that the culinary skills of the hoodlums of yesteryear is all but overlooked by modern authors, academics and skeeball champions. So being that I have recently uncovered a lost Herbert Asbury tome entitled "In the Kitchen with the Gangsters of New York" I would like to share with you a recipe dating back to 1909.
Spanish Louis's Red Wine-and-Apricot Braised Short Ribs

Makes 4 servings. Working time 20 min. Total time 3 1/2 hours.

3/12 pounds short ribs

4 garlic cloves, chopped

3 cups dry red wine

3 tablespoons coarse-grain dijon mustard

2 cups dried apricots

1) Season short ribs with s&p . Working in batches, brown ribs in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

2) Go out and make some collections while ribs cool.

3) Add garlic to pot and cook over medium heat until browned, about two minutes. Add wine and mustard and stir. (Don't forget to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add apricots and reserved ribs and increase heat to high, bringing liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot, and simmer until ribs are so tender they fall off the bone. (Three hours or so, so go ahead and polish your gat.)

4)Skim excess fat from braising sauce. Serve meat and apricots in shallow bowl with braising sauce.

If you give it a try please let us know how it turns out.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Avenue I'm taking you to

Happy New Year from the DGIS Institute. What a fine New Year's Eve we had last night. The bubbly was flowing and a swinging time was had by all. At midnight we went outside and banged pots and pans until the police showed up. Then we went inside and watched the 1933 version of 42nd Street. During the the final number some intern who hadn't been indulging noticed that at the 2:58 mark a drunk stumbles out of a speakeasy called "The Hotsy-Totsy club".

What does that mean to us? Well the Hotsy Totsy club was the name of Mr. Legs Diamond's New York City drinking hole where less than four years before this movie premiered a couple of fellers were put on the spot. So take a gander fer yerself. I suggest watching the whole movie if you get the chance. Chock full of tough talkin dames with swell gams.